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Perspective: Leah (Staying Clear)

I think eating disorders exists because of the emotional connections that we associate with the act of eating. I think there are many different stages in the act of eating that we can compartmentalize and associate individually to different sensations and immediate emotional rewards that on it's own could be very therapeutic in the act alone. However, the disorder, is that in excess, the act of eating comes along with the discomfort and regret of over or under indulging, realized moments later, in a way that an individual may want to rectify in a measure that may be considered extreme. Some variations of an eating disorder may be initiated for the feeling of comfort when eating. Typically overindulging in the attempt to attain the feeling of comfort is generally to overeat. Because of that it could transform into bulimia, for example, because the person although appreciating the act of consuming comfort, does not want to acquire that additional weight, and discomfort that overeating could have.

In my experience, the OCD tendency to want to stay clean has spilled over into my eating at times. I went through a period of only eating raw vegan foods. Not butter, no animal by-products in my soaps, no leather on my bags or in my car. I was obsessive about everything that I had, and if it was ethical and clean. Although for a great cause, it became a huge part of my decision making processes everyday. Driving past the main road made me nauseous because of the whiff of any fast-food restaurant kitchen passing through in the wind. I was anxious almost every second of the day. I was hungry almost every second of the day. Staying busy and anxious shortened my attention to maintaining a balanced and hefty meal. The feeling of hunger, became the preferred state, it let me know that I was clean inside. So I lost an additional 30 pounds within a few months after already given birth and breastfeeding. I would pass out on walks and in grocery stores. During those times, I didn't realize it was my own doing that health was a concern because, I needed so much to feel in control of my diet. It was one thing that I could control in my life. However, the thing I needed more was to gain my health back again to make rational decisions and decrease the stressors that caused a consistent level of anxiety on a daily basis.

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